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Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling Recall Tiffani Thiessen Joining ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’: ‘I Didn’t Get It’

Kelly Taylor never saw see eye to eye with Valerie Malone — and decades later in 2023, Jennie Garth doesn’t either.

On the Monday, July 31, episode of their Beverly Hills, 90210, rewatch podcast, “9021OMG,” Garth, 51, and Tori Spelling reached the premiere of season 5, when Tiffani Thiessen joins the drama following Shannen Doherty’s exit.

“I remember, you know, then — not as I would think these ways now as an adult — but as a young girl, I remember thinking, ‘Yeah, why are they bringing this girl in? Like, we’re doing great. … Why is someone coming to fill the Brenda’s shoes?’ It just felt, like, I don’t know. … I didn’t get it,” Garth said. “And I was probably not that open to the concept. But it worked for my character, that’s for sure. … Kelly and Val never got along. … Kelly’s very intuitive about people and their character and she goes off her gut, and I feel like Kelly smelled a ratatouille.”

The actresses’ cohost, Amy Sugarman, referred to the situation as “life imitates art again,” hinting at alleged tension between Garth and Thiessen. Thiessen, for her part, told Howard Stern in 2012 that she was “shunned” by her female costars. The two women were close at one point in time, however, as Thiessen was a bridesmaid in Garth’s wedding to Peter Facinelli.

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Spelling, for her part, added, “I was just like, me/Donna as usual, like, ‘Hi? How are you? Welcome! Please like me.’”

All three hosts wondered how fans reacted to seeing Thiessen’s Valerie move into Doherty’s Brenda’s bedroom. (Doherty infamously left Beverly Hills, 90210, after four seasons amid tension on the set with her costars and bosses.)

Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling Recall Tiffani Thiessen Joining Beverly Hills
Action Press/Shutterstock; Broadimage/Shutterstock; Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

“It just was really weird watching Valerie in Brenda’s bathroom like that. My overall gut instinct — as a viewer, watching it and being connected and attached to the original cast and to Brenda and to Brenda’s bedroom — I was like, ‘Well, I don’t like what’s happening. I don’t like what my eyes are seeing. I don’t understand this. It’s upsetting me,’” Garth said. “And that she’s now going to be a bad girl instead of a main character that we love. But do people come to love Valerie? … Did anyone ever feel the way they felt about Brenda about Valerie?”

While Spelling stayed fairly mum during the chat, she did point out that Valerie is going to “take all of our men on this show” — which Garth didn’t like either. (The character strikes up romances with Luke Perry’s Dylan, Brian Austin Green’s David, Ian Ziering’s Steve, Vincent Young’s Noah, Jason Wiles’ Colin and has a longtime crush on Jason Priestley’s Brandon.)

“Wait, Brandon hooks up with Valerie?! I can’t,” Garth said. “All of the guys hook up with her? Well, that doesn’t make me like her very much.”

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Garth and Spelling remained on Beverly Hills, 90210, for the show’s entire 10-season run, while Thiessen left during season 9 and returned for the series finale in 2000.

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